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Norman E. Johnson, 77, also lovingly known by family and friends as â€śGene,â€ť â€śStrawberry,â€ť and â€śBoz,â€ť of Fort Wayne, died from heart failure after back surgery at 1:53 a.m. Sunday, July 1, 2012, at Parkview Regional Medical Center, Fort Wayne.
Born March 18, 1935, in Richland Township, he was the son of Leonard and Mary (Barr) Johnson.
He grew up in Noble County where he graduated from Albion High School with the class of 1953. After graduation, he served in the U.S. Army Reserves.
On Dec. 20, 1970, he married Sue Ellen Stangland in Noble County. He was employed by Navistar for 30 years, worked in the insurance field for 27 years and owned Johnsonâ€™s Strawberry Farm where he raised strawberries and produce for 42 years.
An Indiana high school basketball enthusiast, he coached high school basketball, youth basketball and traveled the state attending basketball games. His memberships included American Legion Post #0047 of Fort Wayne and Indiana Basketball Coaches Association.
Surviving relatives include Sue Johnson of Wolf Lake; daughter, Kerri L. Johnson of Kendallville; two sons, Jeremy J. (Linda) Johnson of Noblesville and Joshua J. (Joanna) Johnson of Greenfield; four grandsons, Dallas, Jedi, Brady and Colt; two stepdaughters, Tami Sierra of Fort Wayne and Becky Reidenbach of South Bend; brother, James L. (Anna) Johnson of Columbia City; two stepgrandchildren, Joseph and Donielle and three stepgreat-grandchildren, Nevaeh, Tristin and Brooklyn. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a daughter, Kelli L. Johnson; sisters, Virginia, Mary Alice and Eunice; and a brother, Don Johnson.
Visitation is Thursday from 3 to 8 p.m. at DeMoney-Grimes Countryside Park Funeral Home, 600 Countryside Dr., Columbia City.
The funeral service will be Friday at 11 a.m. with calling one hour prior to service at the funeral home with Pastor Steve Pulley officiating. Burial to follow at the Christian Chapel Cemetery, Merriam.
Memorials may be given in memory of Mr. Johnson to Greenfield-Central Boyâ€™s Basketball with checks payable to GCYBB. Visit www.demoneygrimes.com to send family condolences or to sign the guest register.